We have all heard that first impressions count and never is this truer than when trying to sell your property. Not only will excellent photographs catch the attention of eager buyers, but by emphasising the lifestyle your home actually offers, a well-planned photoshoot is likely to draw in serious viewers who won’t waste your time.
So why not pinch a few tips and tactics from the world of professional photography to get your home ready for its market debut?
Lay the Groundwork
There is a lot to consider before inviting a photographer to take pictures of your house. Everything from the weather on the day of the shoot, to the quirks and features of your home, and even the experience of the photographer can influence the outcome.
While there isn’t a lot about these factors you can control, you do have the power to set the scene to achieve optimum results. Here are some expert tips to help you on your way:
Clear the decks
You can’t add inches to the size of your rooms, but poor lighting and clutter can certainly appear to shave them off when taking pictures. Avoid pictures of dingy corners or garish decor by thoroughly decluttering, polishing, and rearranging furniture as necessary to maximise the beautifying benefits of reflective surfaces and light. This way, you can be sure you’re displaying the full potential of every room.
Top Tip –Photographers are often tempted to use a wide-angle lens, which in some cases may mislead a viewer or make the room appear to have strange angles. Consider this fact when discussing the options on the day.
Shop for Props
Luxury homes in magazines elicit such desire because they have been expertly staged to hint at the lifestyle most people crave. No matter the size of your property, you can take a leaf out of these glossy publications and apply their style tricks yourself.
Here are some ideas for the different areas of your home that won’t break your budget:
Even if your kitchen isn’t fully bespoke, it’s always better to present it positively rather than avoiding pictures of it altogether. Help viewers imagine spending their days in the heart of the home by adding:
- A wooden board piled high with rustic loaves of bread and delicious cheeses
- Bowls of fresh fruit (strawberries, apples and limes work well)
- Champagne and pastries
- Flowers that chime with the home – wildflowers for a country farmhouse, or elegant lilies for modern properties
While people enjoy spending family time in the communal areas of the home, avoid displaying an array of toys or sentimental items in your photos. Many potential viewers may also find evidence of pets off-putting because of the damage they can cause to floors, carpets, and other areas of the property. Instead, opt for:
- Pillar candles
- Fresh flowers
- High-end magazines and coffee-table books
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
At the end of a stressful day, we often want to unwind in our own private space. You can help ensure bedrooms and bathrooms seem warm and inviting by including:
- Crisp, ironed sheets
- Plump pillows
- Fluffy white towels – for display only
- Spa- and salon-quality toiletries
Even small lawns or courtyards can exude charm, aided by:
- Tealights or church candle lanterns
- A flowering plant as a table centrepiece
- Hanging baskets in bloom
You have likely lived in the property – No one knows your home as well as you do. By taking note of special features, attractive design elements, and favourite areas, you will have a useful brief to use as a reference point when discussing the upcoming shoot with your photographer.
Make sure that they receive a copy of the brief in advance to avoid confusion. It is also a good idea to request ‘lifestyle’ shots featuring your carefully chosen props, and ‘vignette’ photos that use doors and mirrors to frame key features or views attractively.
Time it right
Understanding the way your home presents on the compass will help you determine the best time of day to take certain shots. No one wants to see a gloomy exterior or a cold-looking garden, so your photographer may need to return in the evening to catch the sun to the front or rear of the property.
Be a co-producer
On the day of the photoshoot, make sure you are waiting in the wings to assist the photographer by removing distracting objects or adjusting the lighting. A good photographer will point out any potential obstacles for you to correct. Involving yourself in the process can reduce the chance of disappointment in the final result, so don’t be shy about getting stuck in.
Style to season
Spotting pics featuring flowers in full bloom in the middle of winter may make browsers question how long your property has been on the market. Autumn house hunters are also more likely to be drawn by a Yuletide scene than those who have just put the season of giving behind them and are desperate for sunnier days.
This may require refreshing your photos throughout the year to avoid giving buyers an excuse to put in a cheeky offer. The good news is that some images can be airbrushed to improve the scene – a service your photographer may provide.
Don’t be tempted to cut corners by asking a non-professional to take some pics. A real pro will take their time and understands the need for ambience and the best way to set up a shot. This will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.
Delegate to the Experts